French soccer’s top-tier Ligue 1 has announced total revenue of €2.37 billion ($2.53 billion) across its constituent (then) 20 clubs during the 2022-23 season, a growth on year-on-year (YoY) for the league that saw its annual net loss decrease by more than half.

All of this helped to offset a decline in broadcasting rights revenue of €22.8 million (3%), which came amid ongoing turmoil over the future of Ligue 1’s domestic and international broadcast mix.

Ligue 1's net loss of €581.9 million in 2021-22 has more than halved, with the league posting a net loss of €273.2 million for 2022-23, a decrease of 53% for the league despite its embattled media rights landscape.

The results were published by the Direction Nationale du Contrôle de Gestion, an organization founded by Ligue 1’s organizer the LFP to be directly responsible for the oversight of all club accounts for French professional soccer sides.  

Gross non-transfer-related revenue for Ligue 1 grew by €351.8 million (17%) on the 2021-22 season, owing primarily to an increase in so-called “other revenue” (merchandising, community grants, etc.) of €318.4 million (76% YoY), with sponsorship and advertising revenue (4% YoY), and gate receipts (14% YoY) also rising.

The latter figure was propelled by record attendances in the season, with crowds growing 16% to an average of 23,810 per game, the most ever.

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Marseille saw the highest average attendance of 62,522 at its home stadium Orange Velodrome, with each match reaching 95% capacity during the season. Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) posted an average of 47,361 fans, while Lyon averaged 47,583.

That trio of clubs, three of France’s biggest and most well-supported sides, were also naturally among the league’s top three revenue generators through the 2022-23 season, although all three made a net loss.

PSG, in particular, generated €807.3 million in non-transfer earnings through the season, powered by over €370 million in sponsorship revenue and over €200 million in merchandising and other income.

Although costs such as payroll (€621.1 million) saw the team make an overall net loss of €154 million, its massive global presence was more likely than not a major benefit for Ligue 1 in terms of exposure, sponsorship, and advertising revenue, and the value of its media rights deal.

Ligue 1 clubs have been boosted by funds from the CVC Capital Partners private equity investment firm which acquired a 13% stake worth €1.5 billion in a media rights subsidiary set up by the LFP in 2013. 

Collectively, French clubs lost around €730 million in the 2020-21 season, partly due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (fans were not allowed in stadiums) and the collapsed domestic media rights deal with Spanish production firm Mediapro.